The Ocean’s Superfood

3D ocean farms produce a variety of foods. But the star of the show is kelp. It’s a superfood!

Kelp and other edible seaweeds are very nutritious. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy nutrients like omega‑3s. And kelp is a zero-input food. You don’t have to add anything to it. The ocean and sunlight meet its needs. You may know that the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas pumps a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. A lot of the CO2 ends up in the ocean. It adds acid that can harm wildlife.

Kelp rolls are just one of many dishes that are made with kelp.

Bren Smith harvests kelp from his ocean farm.

Seaweed to the rescue! Kelp absorbs CO2 as it grows. The more kelp that ocean farmers grow, the less acidic the ocean becomes.

Seaweed farms are good for the economy, too. Orders for kelp and other seaweeds are on the rise. The growing demand means more people can make a living as ocean farmers.

Bren Smith helps people set up their own ocean farms through his group, GreenWave. He promises to buy most of their crop for the first two years. So, they know they will sell what they grow.

Bren Smith helps prepare kelp for eating.

Tastes Like the Ocean

Okay, so kelp does a lot of wonderful things. But how does it taste?

A lot of fans say kelp "tastes like the ocean." Some sea veggies, like sugar kelp, are very mild. They may have just a hint of saltiness. A mild flavor makes it easy to add kelp to dishes, like soups and salads. Seaweed smoothies are a growing favorite.

Some seaweeds are a bit fishier with a flavor closer to tuna. Other seaweeds taste like meat or mushrooms. Cooks are learning that seaweed adds a delightful ocean flavor to many foods.

Good for food. Good for the planet. Good for business. Fantastic nutrition. No wonder seaweed is the ocean’s supercrop!

a bowl of kelp ready for eating